Make the Most of Your Time in Indonesia

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How Many Days to Spend in Indonesia

To get the most out of Indonesia's vast cultural and natural treasures, you'll need at least 10 days. This is enough time to see different archipelagos or experience the highlights of a major tourist hub like Bali. In five days or a week, you can still enjoy beach time, snorkeling, and sailing around a couple of locales, but two weeks really opens things up to go off the beaten path and visit multiple islands.

A typical facade of a temple in Ubud
Map of 5 Days in Indonesia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
5 Days in Indonesia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Make the most of five days in Indonesia and opt for a Bali highlights tour that features jungle hikes, snorkeling, and enjoying the nightlife in resort town Seminyak. Or choose a Bali tour that focuses on the outdoors, from waterfalls to rice terraces to a unique "floating temple." Other excellent choices include a tour around Java, home to the world's largest Buddhist temple, or a beach-oriented itinerary that features a cruise through Komodo National Park.

Relax on the famed Pink Beach of the Komodo National Park
Map of 1 Week in Indonesia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in Indonesia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

A week in Indonesia allows you to focus on Bali, visit temples and swim in waterfalls, or combine a few days in Bali with a snorkeling and boating adventure around Lombok. Get away from it all on a trip to western Flores and the Komodo Archipelago, hiking through secluded caves and sleeping in a cone-shaped hut. Animal lovers will opt for an itinerary around North Sumatra, featuring elephants and the chance to spot orangutans in the wild, or a trip to Borneo and Java, rich with wildlife viewing opportunities.

A boat "hovers" on a blue lagoon of Gili Air
9 Days in Indonesia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With nine days in Indonesia, you can soak up the sun and fascinating Balinese Hinduism on a classic Bali and Gili Air trip or unpack your bags and base yourself in Ubud and Sanur for a relaxing culture and beach-filled Bali vacation. Discover ancient traditions on a tour of South Sulawesi, with four nights in Rantepao and two days relaxing on the white sands of Bira. If wildlife, virgin jungles, and a massive supervolcano lake sound like your thing, opt for a nature-packed excursion of Sumatra.

Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple on Bali
Map of 10 Days in Indonesia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Indonesia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 10 days to spend in Indonesia, many travelers visit Bali for a highlights tour of the island's historic temples, beautiful beaches, and scenic rice fields. You could focus more specifically on Balinese culture, choosing an itinerary that features local experiences like cooking classes or combine several days in Bali with time on another island, like Nusa Penida, an excellent destination for snorkeling. Another option is to skip Bali and explore Java's natural wonders or cruise around the Raja Ampat Archipelago on a traditional wooden sailboat.

Sunrise over Jatiluwih Rice Terraces in Bali
13 Days in Indonesia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 13 days in Indonesia, you can take in Java and Sulawesi's remote villages and impressive Hindu temples on a culture-focused tour. Or, stick to Bali and choose an adventure-packed itinerary, culture and beaches getaway, or a mix of both. Add on a trip to the Gili Islands to enjoy ultimate relaxation, or get off the beaten path and explore along the north coast and central Bali.

Sunrise over Indonesia's Mount Bromo
Map of 2 Weeks in Indonesia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in Indonesia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

You can cover some serious ground with two weeks in Indonesia, exploring up to three different islands, or basing yourself on one or two islands for more in-depth cultural, historical, and culinary experiences. For example, explore the wilds of Kalimantan and the Derawan Islands or pair Java and Bali for a smaller radius. From experiencing ancient village traditions and hiking the jungles of Sulawesi to honeymooning in Bali—your options are plentiful.

View of Labuan Bajo in the Komodo National Park of Indonesia, near Flores
Map of 8 Days in Indonesia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
8 Days in Indonesia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas

If you have eight days in Indonesia, stick to one main island with a possible visit to nearby lesser islands, like the Komodo Archipelago off of Flores. Consider Bali's popular southeast to see monkeys, rice paddies, and beaches. Discover the wildlife on Flores, covering its length, with fewer crowds than in Bali, or explore Java and check out the world's largest Buddhist temple of Borobudur. Or, for a unique holiday, head to Lombok for secluded jungle waterfalls, remote beaches, and untouristed islands.